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Full Description


Sustainability Studio is a project-based course where you'll make a difference locally with a small group that focuses on one of the core environmental, social or economic aspects of sustainability. Along the way, you'll build your knowledge and skills, have support from peers in Sustainability Studio, hear from guest speakers and share the story of what you're doing.

We're using a core competency framework developed at Michigan State University to structure our projects and evaluate what we've learned. This is not an MSU course, we're just using the framework to organize our work. The competencies were developed around eight areas that most believe demonstrate knowledge and skill in sustainability: personal development, critical thinking, systems thinking, social justice, civic engagement, economic vitality, ecological integrity and aesthetics.  

This is a Citizen Circles/P2PU School of Social Innovation course, and has a couple of unique features. First, this course is centered around small offline groups. If you want to participate in the course, it is your responsibility to find two other people from your community to participate in the course with you. Second, in addition to joining the online meetings, your small group is expected to meet face-to-face throughout the course to engage offline activities as outlined in the syllabus.

The Citizen Circle process for Sustainability Studio is as follows:

  1. Recruit a couple of friends (2-4) in the same community as you to build and participate in the Sustainability Studio course with you.
  2. Decide which ONE of the eight sustainability domains you want to work on together. Most projects will cross over into other domains, but pick one as a primary focus.
  3. Define a project with guidance from the course organizer and co-facilitators (see the course syllabus and project ideas).
  4. Document and share your progress in Sustainability Studio.
  5. Learn from your peers and guest speakers in the Studio.
  6. Celebrate with feedback and recognition in the Studio Show during the last week.
."Never doubt that a small group of individuals can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

Sustainability Studio Weekly Schedule
#1       Jan 26- Feb 1                         Studio Opening: Introductions, inspiration, discussion of proposed projects
#2 Feb 2 - 8 Group project plans approved and work begins
#3 Feb 9 - 15 Work on projects
#4 Feb 16 - 22 Studio Guests: sharing by guest speakers
#5 Feb 23 - Mar 1   Work on projects
#6 Mar 2 - 9 Finalize projects
#7 Mar 10 - 16 Studio Show: Telling our stories, measuring our impact, celebrating success

Learning Objectives

  • To start and complete a local project, or a first phase in a project, in at least one of the sustainability competencies, by March 10, 2011.
  • To create a digital story for your project that demonstrates your level of mastery in the competency during the Studio Show.
  • To create a measureable impact with your project and share it during the Studio Show.
  • To reflect on what you're learning during Sustainability Studio and discuss it with other participants.


Sustainability Studio is for anyone committed to:

  • contributing to a sustainable future
  • working with peers locally
  • connecting and sharing with the world

Sign-Up Task

  1. Recruit a couple of friends (2-4) in the same community as you to build and participate in the Sustainability Studio Citizen Circle with you.
  2. Each person needs to sign up, and list the others in their group.
  3. When you sign up, please share a link to an example of a project, or local action, that inspires you related to sustainability. This can be a link to a video, presentation, blog post, etc.
  4. Describe a project idea that you are thinking about doing as a group.
  5. Identify one of the eight sustainability domains to be the primary focus of your project.

Task Discussion